A '''congress''' is a formal meeting of the representatives of different country|nation
s, constituent state
s, independent organizations (such as trade unions
), or groups.
The term was chosen for the Continental Congress
to emphasize the status of each colony represented there as a self-governing unit. Subsequent to the use of ''congress'' by the U.S. legislature, the term has been adopted by many states ''within'' unions, and by unitary nation-states in the Americas
, to refer to their legislature